As I understand it, a new TV series sometimes goes like this:

  1. A pilot episode is produced,
  2. the network airs it or test-runs it,
  3. and the network decides whether to contract more episodes for a season.
  4. Future seasons are then approved based on the performance of past seasons.

If there is slack time between the last production and the approval of more episodes,

  1. How does a TV series ensure that its actors will be available for new episodes, while waiting for the network's decision?

  2. Are the actors prohibited from taking other work that would make them unavailable for the series?

  3. If so, are the actors paid something if the series is terminated, to compensate for their not accepting other work?

  • 5
    This is edging on "too broad" as it will entirely depend on the individual contracts.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 12:34
  • 1
    The answers would be YES and NO to all questions. Depend on contracts. There are examples of change of actors between pilot and production (hence some studios make 6 episodes to get some slack). Some studios produce pilot just few weeks prior to airing giving them enough time to leave actors "hanging". Some studios pay actors something like "non competitive" fees making sure they will be available for work. Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 12:52
  • 2
    There are many times the actors aren't available. In those cases, you get a new actor to play the role. It's happened too many times to count. Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 13:38
  • I think the only answer to this is "All of the above, & more"
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 18:04
  • If it were me and the contracted pay were high enough, I'd want to focus only on that show, and anything else I did would be extremely minor (like a commercial or voice-over for an animated film or something) Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 18:26


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